George Malcolm Richards, younger brother of former president the late George Maxwell Richards, was touched by yesterday’s outpouring of public grief from well-wishers, speaking to Newsday as his brother lay in state at Parliament. Malcolm, a retired engineer living in Toronto, Canada, exuded dignity as he and his daughter Karen greeted mourners.
He said although he was 11 years junior to Maxwell, he had closely followed Maxwell’s career, of which he was very proud. “What I’d like to say is that I’m overwhelmed by the response of the people of Trinidad to my brother. I understand why there’s such a deep feeling for him, because he genuinely reached out to the people of this country. He loved them.
“He was 11 years older than I. Unfortunately I left Trinidad and never got a chance to follow his career, but on key occasions I’d always keep in touch with the new technology.”
Malcolm said that as boys growing up they were close, despite the gap in age. Asked his fondest memories of Maxwell, Malcolm recalled that for July/August holidays Maxwell would always take him to vacation with friends at Usine Ste Madeleine.
“I remember several occasions when he would help me learn to ride a bicycle. He had a particular love for cars. “He went to QRC and he would announce his arrival in San Fernando, where he lived, by sending homing pigeons down – in the days before WhatsApp – so my mother would start preparing a meal for him. So yes, I have very fond memories.
“I really attribute everything that Max was to the example set by my father and mother. My father was also a George, and named Maxwell ‘George Maxwell’ and myself ‘George Malcolm.’ He was George Armsby. He was the first Attorney General of (the independent) TT. He wrote the Constitution and the Industrial Relations Act...I think he always envied the fact that his two sons were on the more scientific side, Maxwell being a chemical engineer and I an electrical engineer.”
Of the presidency, Malcolm said of his brother, “I think he set a good example.” On president-designate Justice Paula Mae Weekes, Malcolm said, “She will turn another page, I think, in Trinidad in terms of gender equality. I really look forward to what she will be able to achieve.”